What if I find blood spots on my egg yolks?

By Scott | May 30, 2013 | Backyard Basics, Backyard Chickens, Chicken Feed, Farm To Fork, Health & Safety

blood spots on my egg yolks

Great news! Blood spots on the yolks of your eggs are perfectly safe to eat and are not harmful.

What is a blood spot? It is a pinhead-sized red or brown spot on the yolk of an egg. These are caused by the rupture of small blood vessels during the formation of the egg. A blood spot does not indicate that an egg has been fertilized; it’s simply a small spot of blood. A bright spot indicates a very fresh egg.

In commercial farming, eggs are usually passed over very strong lights for quality assurance purposes, allowing for the inspection and evaluation of the egg’s shell structure and internal quality.  Sometimes, the a blood spot can escape the best of these screening lights and can be even more difficult to detect with brown-shell eggs.

In our backyard flocks, we usually see blood spots in young pullets coming into lay.  We can also sometimes see spots in older flocks, indicating that the flock is coming to its final stages of production.  Avoid stresses to your flock such as being chased by a dog or other household pet, disturbances by a predator or sudden noises.  Even simple stressful events can frustrate the egg laying process, causing a rupture of the small blood vessel to occur. Happy, healthy chickens are unstressed chickens!

Once again, remember that eggs that feature a blood spot are perfectly safe for consumption.  If you are bothered by a blood spot, simply remove it with the blunt end of a utensil and discard. The key is to keep track of the number of eggs exhibiting blood spots; less than 1% is the norm for a healthy flock.  Although the spots themselves are not harmful for you to consume, frequent spots can indicate that your birds are experiencing stress. Examine whether and how stresses are occurring and make it a priority to address them for healthy, happy chickens and happy eating for you!

Do you have questions or comments? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,